The Canadian Art Database

Talurqjuaq [Taloyoak/Spence Bay], Nunavut


There are over 700 people living in the community of Talurqjuaq. The translation of the name means “large blind” referring to the large stone barrier or blind erected to drive caribou into a closed-in area where they can be easily hunted. It is located on Spence Bay on the west side of the Boothia Peninsula in what is known as the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. The Inuit living in the Kitikmeot – including the art-producing communities of Talurqjuaq, Uqsuqtuq [Gjoa Haven] and Aqvilikjuaq [Pelly Bay] – were the last touched by European explorers, whalers and traders. Depictions of shamans, spirits and mythical beings, fashioned primarily out of whalebone, in addition to humour and irony, dominate the sculpture from this region and more specifically in the community of Talurqjuaq.

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